Begin forwarded message:
From: "Wan, William" >
Date: September 3, 2016 at 5:09:41 PM GMT+8
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" >
Subject: Travel Pool Report #4 -- fights over access to obama-xi-ban meeting
This feed is ahead of president's arrival.
The difficulties and disagreements between US and Chinese officials continued at the westlake statehouse.
A group of white house staff arriving in advance of president at the Westlake statehouse (along with pool press) were stopped at security checkpoint at gate.
White house staff, protocol officers and secret service, trying to enter separately from press, spent 15 mins in heated arguments with chinese officials.
US officials could be heard arguing in chinese with chinese security officials over how many americans could be allowed to go through security at a time. How many people the white house were allowed to be in building before the president's arrival. Which US officials were on which list in a folder with a thick pile of name lists.
"The president is arriving here in an hour," one white house staffer was overheard saying in exasperation.
As the disagreement escalated, a chinese official assisting the Americans grew angered by how guards were treating the white house staff and began yelling, nearly coming to blows with one of the chinese security officials.
"You don't push people. No one gave you the right to touch or push anyone around," he yelled in chinese at one of the chinese security officials. Another chinese official trying to help US officials stepped between the two who were arguing once the security official began approaching, looking like he was going to throw a punch.
"Calm down please. Calm down," pleaded a White House official.
"Stop, please," said a foreign ministry official in chinese. "There are reporters here."
Once inside, white house press officers engaged in another fight over how many american journalists would be allowed. "You are only allowed 10," said a chinese official.
"That's not right," said a white house oress official.
20 minutes before obama's arrival, us press officers were still arguing in the room where the two presidents would soon be meeting along with ban ki moon to talk of their cooperation. As US officiala pleaded for two Us journalist left outside to be allowed to stand in the back of the room. "There's space. They are print reporters. They would just be just standing," said one white house press officer.
It was a fight they did not win.